The ultimate design “outdoor loos”

Finnish countryside never ceases to amaze me, when it comes to the plethora, variety and originality of the events going on during summer. Last weekend, we visited my mother-in-law’s cottage, located near the peaceful town of Mäntyharju, approximately 2,5 hours drive from Helsinki, towards northeast. After 45 minutes of civilized socialising-the maximum amount of time I can spend with my in-laws, without ending up calling my therapist for an emergency meeting-we decided to do some exploration of the surrounding area.

It took an hour’s drive through what is-for me at least-one of the most beautiful parts of Finland, before we reached our destination, Linkkumylly. Don’t try to pronounce it, you might severely strain your tongue. Linkkumylly is located in the middle of nowhere, literary. Its lovely grounds are dotted by the main building available for celebrating special occasions, a few rental cottages, and a small café. During the summer months, the owners organize concerts and art exhibitions, but there is also fishing, canoeing and biking possibilities on offer, for the more active souls.

As soon as we arrived, I inquired on the whereabouts of the nearest loo. As a reply to my question, I was handed over a map depicting the position of not one, but seven loos, and a leaflet with information on their creators, which added to our bewilderment. It took us a while to realize that this summer’s exhibition is about “outdoor loos”, that were designed by well established Finnish designers and scattered along a forest path. But, why on earth outdoor loos? The only rational explanation I could come up with, is that in a country with hundreds of thousands of cottages, outdoor loos inevitably form a part of finnish landscape. Of course, nowadays, cottages come with en-suite bathrooms, but those cottages are mainly purposed for the city dwellers or foreigners. A real Finn would never succumb to any kind of ” modern commodities”, or at least, never admit that he has. A true summer cottage should have no en-suite WC, no running water, neither electricity for that matter. It should be in complete balance with nature. After all, relaxing in your summer cottage is about living as close to nature as possible. It is about finding your inner peace, unless of course, your in-laws happen to be around. 🙂

Here are some pictures of the design loos. Which one is your favorite? I think I would go for the round one.

Design loo #1

Design loo #1

Design loo #2

Design loo #2

Design loo #3

Design loo #3

Design loo #4 (with user)

Design loo #4 (with user)

Design loo #5

Design loo #5

….and a little extra!

…and a tin warrior!

…and a tin warrior!

Information on what is happening around Finland this summer: http://www.visitfinland.com/directory/whats-going-on/#result-section

 

 

25 thoughts on “The ultimate design “outdoor loos”

  1. Vasilis I am thinking your in-laws do not read your blog. 🙂 Hilarious description of your time together. I am picking the round one although with out a smell test I reserve final judgement. Was the little tin warrior a random find out there?

    • I was hoping they read it and leave me alone for good! 😉 Naah, they are nice people. We get along very well.
      I have a confession to make: I have a problem with outdoor loos. Never quite managed to use one. My excuse to other people is that it is a cultural thing. I cannot use them because of my greek heritage and being a descendent of a great civilization that inventing indoor toilets thousands years ago (now I am talking like the father in “My big fat Greek wedding”) 🙂
      The truth is I cannot stand the smell… 🙂

      • Very creative reasoning 🙂 I have found over the years of being out in the mountains that the technology for more fragrant outdoor loos has improved a great deal. Perhaps the Finns will catch up in that field. 🙂

  2. Sue thought I’d like this one and yes! She has the best recommendations.

    The round one is the obvious winner, I think. Almost unfair to the others. #3 looks pretty swish, too, although I’m a bit worried about #1. I might accidentally mistake the entrance and go beside it, it blends so well with the trees.

    • Haha! It’s true. It blends too well. I am not sure about the round one anymore…What if it gets detached from its base, and starts rolling down the cliff, while you are in?

      Thanks for visiting my blog! I agree, Sue has the best recommendations! 😉 Cheers!

  3. Oh, we passed mäntyharju and I didn’t know of this exhibition!!! What better way to spend quality family time than trying out loos?!

    Ps dunnies are great, how/ where would you otherwise get to read old Donald ducks?!

    • Thank you, Joanne! Outdoor loos is one of these aspects of Finnish summer cottage life, that I still find it difficult to associate with, although I have been living in the country for almost 17 years now! 🙂

      • Well unfortunately I can relate. I’m a Canadian from the north and our family cottage had an outhouse. In fact we didn’t call it a cottage. It was just a simple log cabin on an island in the middle of nowhere. My sister now owns the island and it still has an outhouse 🙂

  4. Amusing piece! ‘cottages’ here have gone quite designer now with inside bathrooms and unless you inherited one ordinary people cannot afford them…a few still have their outhouses as curiosities and I certainly remember them less than fondly from my childhood. Give my best to your in-laws!

    • Same here. Modern cottages have all the mod cons, but there are still people who feel that a cottage is not a “real” one, unless it doesn’t have running water and electricity.
      Thank you so much for stopping by. So sorry about the late reply, but I am in Greece right now and I don’t have access to wifi as often as at home. 🙂

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